St Marys Church Leigh
A Happy Easter to all our Readers
1st: “St. Peter ventures out in fear and trembling ... I relate to him” 105th Archbishop of Canterbury – Justin Welby
2nd: “Let us now begin this journey” Pope Francis
3rd: “We (the Government) ‘do God’ but in a limited and responsible way”
These quotes made by our world faith leaders and Prime Minister demonstrate the very different attitudes to Christianity. Our new Archbishop of Canterbury begins office aware of the massive task ahead of him. The Pope similarly wants to start his task knowing that he has the backing of a hugely powerful Vatican and Roman Catholic organisation throughout the world. The Prime Minister is reticent: echoing in my mind is the challenge of an old university friend - “You cannot be half a Christian: either you are or you are not”. In last month’s Parish Magazine I made three suggestions for the new Pope whoever he turned out to be. Here I make three suggestions for our new Archbishop of Canterbury:
1: To put an end to the internal squabbles within the Anglican Communion; settle issues over women Bishops, gays and same sex marriage.
2: Admit that we can settle some of the above issues – i.e. women in the Episcopacy but not others ... yet.
3. Give more power and authority to the parishes by including us in decision making over leadership and church policy. This has not been done effectively by General Synod as proven by the debacle of the vote to make women Bishops.
The young 17 year old Evangeline Kanagasoonam asked the Bishop at the door of the Cathedral “Who are you and why do you request entry?” He replies “I am Justin, a servant of Jesus Christ”.
Amid all the pomp and ceremony of the Enthronement, those simple questions are the most pertinent. The Church of England, well led by the academic Rowan Williams, now has a different style of leader. He has known the rough and tumble of the City and commercial world. I, like him, remain grateful for the experience I gained in the City at the Stock Exchange. I hope and pray that we can support Archbishop Justin in the difficult path that lies ahead of him. The Pope is right: the journey has begun and I for one shall be praying daily for our leaders. As Jesus rose from the dead, may our leaders give us new confidence in the present church and state.
Happy Resurrection Days,
Lionel Kevis, Vicar